Film Review: Step Up – All In (USA, 2014)

STEP UP 5

Have there been SIX Step Up movies already? It seems like only yesterday (like, 8 years ago) when Channing Tatum and his freakin’ abs danced their way onto the silver screen and into the hearts of many a hormonal human being. Step Up: All In is the sixth film in the franchise, and while there is nobody in the cast to Channing on your Tatum, it’s still the same impressive formula of amazing dance routines, equally pumping soundtrack and a boy meets girl/follow your heart storyline that everyone loves (ish).

So, the storyline goes that Sean and his dance crew, The Mob, are struggling to pay rent as they hustle for fame and fortune in Los Angeles. The crew are fed up, ditch Sean and head home to Miami. But Sean won’t give up (they never do, if you’re pure of heart and you want it bad enough), and when he finds a dance competition with a prize that could set himself up financially and professionally, he assembles a new dance crew and heads to Vegas to compete. What he learns about himself in Vegas is more than just dance-related, as he confronts old friends, new foes and potentially the love of his life.

Does anyone care, really, about the storyline? Probably not, because what you’re getting are Hollywood’s hottest professional dancers all in one film. Director Trish Sie is a Grammy Award-winning choreographer, who famously choreographed THAT treadmill dance for OK Go’s single, “Here It Goes Again”. And for fans of the US version of So You Think You Can Dance, you’ll recognise so many of them here: Stephen “Twitch” Boss and Comfort Fedoke (Season 5) and Emilio Dosal (Season 11, which has recently ended in the USA). You will also notice a very kiwi accent coming out of one of the dancers, Parris Goebel, from Auckland’s all-female hip hop dance crew, ReQuest (yay Southern Hemisphere!). Hell, even the creator of the Step Up franchise, Duane Adler, is known for his work on other dance-driven films like Save the Last Dance (the one where Julia Stiles plays a ballerina who gets her groove on when she hooks up with a boy from the wrong side of the tracks, so to speak).

Are the dance sequences impressive? Yes they are! The routines are more than just dance – many of them contain acrobatics and amazing tricks that sort of encompass martial arts, in some ways (or is this just how the kids are doing it now?). Do you have to be a fan of the music to get into the film? Not really, but it does help (excuse yourself and go to the bathroom when the Pitbull song comes on, but if it helps, it’s really Mayer Hawthorne’s track). Will you be toe tapping in the cinema when you watch this? You know what – probably. And yes, that large bucket of popcorn will start to look very, very naughty after you’ve seen some of the moves these dancers can pull off.

Step Up: All In is a fun time, almost like something you’d get at a club. Without the douchebags. And the sore feet. And waiting ages at the bar for one drink. Highly recommended if you’re after a good time.

Review Score FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Running Time 112 minutes

Step Up: All In is currently in cinemas around Australia

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